The Big Issues- Candidates on Gun Control

Note from the Editors:
With the presidential election looming and many of you approaching voting age, the CHS Journalism Club has decided to provide some basic information on the leading candidates and their stances on key issues. We aim to be concise, understandable and unbiased. If anyone feels that a candidate has been misrepresented or left out, we welcome input and assistance in room 229 Fridays at lunch. Please stay informed before you vote!

Hillary Clinton

Throughout her career, Hillary Clinton has been a proponent for stricter gun control laws. Clinton strongly defended the Brady Bill, which instituted federal background checks on certain gun sales. She also co-convened a White House Summit (meeting) on school violence after the Columbine Shootings. As a Senator she attempted to close a gun-show loophole that allows criminals to purchase firearms without a background check.  Clinton also co-sponsored and voted for legislation to extend and reinstate the assault weapons ban. She voted against legislation that provides negligent gun manufacturers protection from lawsuits by victims of gun violence. Hillary will likely support any gun control legislation to be presented.

Jeb Bush

Jeb has a complicated stance on the issue of gun control. While he supports background check requirements in his own state of Florida, he maintains that gun policies should be determined by the states. In his time as governor of Florida, Bush signed laws expanding the rights of citizens to both use deadly force to protect themselves in public places, and to carry a concealed firearm. He touts the fact that firearm related crime has gone down after the passage of these laws. He has recently received criticism from the left for his suggestions in the wake of mass shootings that “things happen all the time” and perhaps policy change is not the solution. Jeb Bush will likely vote against gun control legislation.

Ben Carson

Dr. Ben Carson has never held a public office, so has only had the opportunity to voice his opinions on gun control while on the campaign trail. He maintains that he is extremely Pro-Second Amendment, but has suggested that assault rifles should not be allowed in urban areas. While he believes that gun owners should not have to register their guns, he has suggested that there should be discussion over how to keep guns away from “crazies”. His primary focus however is to protect the 2nd amendment rights of law abiding citizens, who he says would be the only ones to suffer from increased gun control. Ben Carson will oppose almost any gun control legislation.

Bernie Sanders

Sanders describes his own stance on gun control as “moderate”. He has supported instant background checks and bans on assault rifles, limits to magazine capacities but has repeatedly voted against gun control bills when they include mandatory waiting periods for gun purchases-for example, the Brady Bill. He has at times drawn criticism from the left for his apparently conservative stance, and praise from republicans, including support from the National Rifle Association (1990 campaign).  He is less likely to vote for gun control legislation than Hillary Clinton, but more likely than Jeb Bush.

Donald Trump

When it comes to gun control, Trump has explicitly stated that he does not agree with, but concedes to background checks, a slightly longer waiting period, and a total ban on assault weapons. He is a life-time member of the NRA and has made it clear that he believes in adherence to the second amendment, which he claims to be “a bedrock natural right of the individual to defend self, family, and property.”  It is difficult to tell how Donald Trump would vote on gun control legislation, but he would likely support more gun control legislation than his fellow Republicans.

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